A couple of weeks ago, the Lord gave me a vision of grace. He showed me an image of life and love and true, right, holy relationship with the Lord. He showed me the truth of success and how I needed success redefined. He showed me a story of love which I will share with you today:
There was a woman lying on a hospital bed; she could not move.
There was a man standing before a crowd, poised to wave at the audience.
The woman had been motionless her whole life.
The man was known; his face was recognized by the crowd.
The woman did not know many a soul.
The man was recognized by many.
The woman’s face was sallow and her fight shown on her face.
The man’s face displayed life and a will to fight for the things in which he believed.
The woman had never accomplished anything societally noteworthy.
The man had accomplished many things societally noteworthy.
The woman had never been able to go out into the world and share Jesus.
The man had never known anything besides going out to share Jesus.
Each knew the Father. Each knew and lived in love, but one lived love in very physical action while the other abided in it.
God has been talking to me about stories. In this vision, the man and the woman had very little in common and lived fundamentally different lives. The woman, by the world’s standards, had never accomplished anything. She had lied in bed her entire life, fighting illness and fighting against a very real spiritual battle. The only people that she had encountered were the ones who came to visit her and her area of influence was very small indeed. The man, by the world’s standards, had lived a very successful life full of influence and movement. In the vision I knew that he had walked through many of what we call trials and that he had come out victorious on the other side. He had lived his life telling the world of God’s grace and glory all over the world.
I know what the world says about a good story. I know what society says is a good story, what will sell off the racks at the grocery store and what makes good entertainment. I know what success looks like by the world’s standards and the expectations associated with it. I know that people love a good climax and conclusion. I know that people like to see others overcome great conflict and arrive at some sort of victorious conclusion.
But I want to know what God has to say about a good story. God is literally the author of the greatest story – a story of love – that has ever been written or could every be thought of. I want to know what He has to say about her story, about his story, about my story.
In my life, I think that I have believed wrongly about what makes a story good. I have succumbed to the lies of the world. I have known the lies and believed them. When God showed me the vision of the man and the woman, I would have classified the story of the man as a good story. He did something! He walked through various trials and arose victorious. He lived in the victory that he knew was his through Christ and told people about it. But when God was talking to me about the stories of the man and the woman, he showed me the story of the man and the woman in a new light. I was not wrong in saying that the story of the man was great. It is true that he lived in glorious humility and it is true that he shared his story well. He loved God and he knew that he was saved by grace. But so did the woman. The woman loved God just as much as the man. She knew that she was saved by grace and she knew that she was a child of the King. Not only that, but God showed me her heart. He showed me all of the quiet moments in the night when she lay there alone talking to her Father. Just think of how she knew the Father! Not only did she know God but she understood what it meant to abide in him; to rest in his love; to be covered by grace; to be strong in spirit despite her physical weakness; to lavish all of her love on the Father; to rest in truth and to speak out hope. She contained within her the fullness of Christ, of his love and life and presence.
How beautiful is such a story as this! When I saw her story as ‘less than’ because she couldn’t do anything, God saw that her story was all the more beautiful because she knew her Father. There is no greater achievement in life than this: to know God and to be loved by Him and to love him. God desires us. God desires us. He desires us. He desires us. He desires us. God desires us.
So I don’t want to know what the world has to say about my story, because I know what my God has to say about my story. There is nothing greater that I could ever do than to pursue the Lord and to know him. To have a heart that beats in rhythm with his heart, to have a mind that thinks the same thoughts as his, to have a soul that is wholly connected to and is one with his. I want that to be my story. When I am with my Father in the Heavenly places, I don’t want people to say that I ‘did’ great things, I want them to say that I loved my Father well all the days of my life.
For I am His and He is mine.